Crater Lake NP (Aug 25-27, 2020)

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crater_lake_coverConditions: Day hikes
Gear: nothing special
Map: USGS Crater Lake West, USGS Crater Lake East
Area: Crater Lake NP
Reference: n/a
Stats: see below

Work has been really busy all year and insanely busy the last couple of months. It's been almost two years since I took any real time off. I was overdue. Really overdue. I didn't want to travel far and Crater Lake has been on my list for a long time. I've lived in WA State for almost 24 years and I've never made the trip down to this part of Oregon. I needed to wrap some things up so I worked Monday, that left the rest of the week to get this trip in.

I left early in the morning on Tuesday the 25th. My plan was to drive into the park via the north entrance on the way down to my Airbnb down to Chiloquin. That would help me get a feel for the park and maybe plan something for my first full day in the park. I drove part of the West Rim Road going clockwise and most of the East Rim Drive. I pulled over a few times to take in the site and yep...lots of smoke. That's OK I told myself, this is vacation and I'm finally doing something other than work. I wasn't in a huge rush but finally it was time to take car of the business side of my trip. I exited the park and drove down to Klamath Falls to get gas and stock up on the groceries I'd need for the rest of the week. I finally pulled into my Airbnb off hwy 422 around 7pm. The good news...the place really was remote. Good...

I didn't set my alarm for the morning (Wed the 26th). I was up, made breakfast and drove the 20 minutes to the south entrance to the park. I then drove the East Rim Road up to the Mount Scott trailhead. It was a short hike but the lot was pretty full for mid week. I passed a few people up along the trail, some wearing masks, most not. Ugh. This was getting too stressful. I continued up to about 2.1mi (8866') and I'd had it with the anti-maskers. The stress of being near people who don't give a flip about others meant it was time to head down. I went back to the car, and spent the rest of the afternoon trying to keep my distance from others and just taking in the sites. The good news was that the smoke today was marginally better than yesterday. I headed back to the Airbnb and spent the rest of the evening out on the deck, reading, enjoying the quiet. Stats for today: 4.13mi and 1306' gain (round trip).

I didn't set my alarm again for Thursday (27th). After breakfast I headed back up to the park but drove the West Rim Road up to The Watchman. Parking lot was again busy but this trail is mostly super wide all the way to the lookout site. The trip is short to. I got to the lookout site and it has stupendous views of Wizard Island. This lookout has to be one of the most spectacular I've seen. The rockwork is incredible. I headed back to the Airbnb for lunch out on the deck. I spent the afternoon and early evening reading and painting and just enjoying being quiet. I headed back to the Rim Overlook to watch the sunset. Dang...people just don't like wearing masks or staying socially distant. To the crazy people who don't wear mask and think it's OK to ask a complete stranger to hold your dirty phone and take a family photo for you...the answer is a polite NO. Back at the Airbnb I had a late dinner and started packing things up for the drive home in the morning. Stats for the lookout hike: 1.86mi and 467' gain (round trip).
Crater Lake NP Slideshow

mt_scott_map the_watchman_map crater_lake_np_map
(click on map to view a larger version)

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Copyright Janet M. Putz
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